They Call It “Gothninja”

April 14, 2009

A term spawned by necessity on the superfuture style boards, then co-opted by 4chan’s /fa/shion board, “gothninja” addresses the current runway trend for draped, layered, top-heavy, grey and black urban battledress.

Unknown, possibly Rick Owens.

“Goth”, for the monochrome palette, overall gloom, Victorian and Edwardian inspiration,tattered edges, and super-tight, bordering-on-fetishistic fits.  “Ninja”, for the obscured face, seaweed-like sweeps, and sense of sneakening.

The primary designers are Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, and Ann Demuelemeester, the latter unpronounceable lady I just want to murder in her spooky bed for giving birth to these boots:

As it is not financially feasible to have these boots AND a college education, I suggest you youngins sit down for a good hard think about where your priorities lie.

Like asphalt Bedouins, the gothninja tribe wraps, drapes, and jangles. The look is prohibitive: only the extremely svelte (or starved) can really pull it off.  The silhouette is stick legs and swooping shoulders, making this one of the very few nearly-non-unisex fashion statements. Lookbook superstar Biz C. pulls off some gothninja garb with applomb, but the lady is far from voluptuous.

Luckily (I guess), the signature drop-crotch harem pants sported by so many gothninja have appeared in outlets as accessible as H&M, where hipster scum are already pairing them with Wayfarers for the ultimate in street-level purgative effect.  Just the other day I saw a group of them standing in a circle, affecting disaffection while playing some sort of hackysack/lacrosse mashup, cradling the ‘sack in their sagging trousers while rolling their eyes.  I had to have a lie down.

This cunt remains ambivalent about the ol’ drop-crotch, but the rest of gothninja speaks to me on a spiritual, sexual level.  I find myself wearing too many scarves, cinching here and draping there, and generally refusing to give it a rest. I am told regularly that I “look like a crazy person” and I just cannot bring myself to care.

And it’s not all black holes and revelations; a few rebel cels have splintered off to form new flocks.

Cloudninja. (Rick Owens Fall ’09)

And of course, Steamninja. (Ann Demeulemeester Fall/Winter 09, image from Fashion Flux)


  1. I… I am in love. Stealth style love.

    And I know I’m in the right place when the words of the cunt seem to have reverberated around my skull in the instance of seeing Rick Owens’ work.


  2. Perfect! Nothing else is worth wearing….

  3. Gotta love the last series of pictures–mmm, morning jackets and riding boots!

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